Prince Chaudhary, an Indian Gateballer, tried to bring a team to the 2019 Australian Gateball Championships. Unfortunately, the visas did not arrive in time and the team did not make it. We have kept in touch, and, recently, when invited, he agreed to share his Gateball story with us.
My name is Prince Chaudhary and I am 29 years old. I come from Himachal Pradesh, a state in Northern India.
I started playing Gateball in 2007 in the state of Orissa. My coaches’ names were Dr Suman Shankar Tiwari, Manoranjan Mishra & Biswaranjan Mishra. They taught me how to play Gateball in the city of Chandigarh and in Orrisa, I’d spent my 2 weeks in every month learning Gateball.
One day I was selected for my first international tournament in Hong Kong. At that time time I was in 10th standard (last year of school in India.) Unfortunately, my parents and my teachers were reluctant to allow me to participate in international travel because I missed my final exams and failed my exams.
At that time, I was the only person from the northern area who was going to play in Hong Kong. I had never been that far from my hometown before. That was the first time for me.
(On arrival) I was excited to see overseas players and how they played Gateball. I learned many techniques from overseas players and later explained these to my team mates in India. After this, I started to promote Gateball in different cities in my state and in other states also. We established a team in every state in Northern India. I spent 4 years promoting Gateball in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana Jammu & Kashmir and my state too. I was working alone without financial support.
I organised two national tournaments in my state. I made some mistakes when I organised my first tournaments but slowly, slowly I learned everything about how to organise tournaments. After some time i got some financial problems to play tournaments because no-one sponsors our tournaments and that time i was a student. It’s very difficult for a student to organise two national tournaments without sponsorship or any support.
It is a challenge to play in international tournaments without any sponsor but my parents always supported me. After Hong Kong, I played in Macao, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.
I remember my father said to me, ” Don’t worry, one day your game will enter in the Olympics. He always helped me to play international tournaments and organise tournaments. Sadly, he has now passed away. Because of financial problems in my home I am going to Singapore for work and now I am working in Singapore from last 5 years.
Every weekend I am going to play Gateball in Singapore with Mr Kho Sing Tjai and Mr James Wong Fook Meng and Mr Fujimoto Yoshihiro.
The first time I won a gold medal in Thailand, it was a memorable day in my life.